Menopause is an inevitable part of being a woman. At some point, the hot flashes, fatigue and changes to your period will strike.
But now it seems there could be a way to ward off these symptoms - and it has everything to do with how you fuel your body.
According to a new study published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community that analysed data from more than 14,000 women in the UK, a diet rich in oily fish (a 90g serve per day) can push back menopause by up to three years. And for the vegetarians among us, the same portion of fresh legumes was found to prompt a one-year delay.
On the other hand, those who regularly chowed down on carbs like refined pasta and rice on the reg were more likely to start it 18 months earlier than the average age 51.
“The age at which menopause begins can have serious health implications for some women,” explained professor of nutritional epidemiology and the study’s co-author Janet Cade.
“A clear understanding of how diet affects the start of natural menopause will be very beneficial to those who may already be at risk or have a family history of certain complications related to menopause.”
Still, experts stress that the findings should be taken with a grain of salt as genetics weren’t considered.
“The timing of menopause is dependent on many factors including the total number of eggs that each female is born with in their ovaries at birth,” professor Saffron Whitehead, a professor at St George’s University in London told The Independent.
“There are many caveats to this study and, as the authors acknowledge it is simply observational. So, we cannot say that eating more grapes, oily fish and food with antioxidants can make a difference.”
“That said, it is an interesting approach to investigate the timing of the menopause but I am not yet convinced that diet alone can account for the age of the onset of menopause. There are too many other factors involved.”